Forever Wild funding could be diverted
Sen. Shadrack McGill, R-Scottsboro introduced a constitutional amendment last month that would divert Forever Wild funding to the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and to the Education Trust Fund to fund vocational education in high schools should citizens vote down Forever Wild renewal or should the Forever Wild renewal pass but get less “yes” votes than McGill’s proposed constitutional amendment. McGill was one of a handful of senators who filibustered legislation last year that would have renewed Forever Wild by legislative action instead of the statewide vote that will take place November 6.
Conservation Alabama is monitoring this legislation and its potential effects on the campaign to renew Forever Wild. (from Conservation Alabama)
Scrap Tire Fund monies threatened
A House committee passed a compromise amendment last week that will divert money from the Scrap Tire Fund to the cash-strapped General Fund for only two years, instead of from next year forward as originally proposed.
The Scrap Tire Commission was created in 2003 after a study showed that more than five million scrap tires were produced annually in Alabama, another four to five million scrap tires were being shipped to Alabama annually, and 14 to 20 million scrap tires were either stockpiled or disposed of illegally. A $1 fee is assessed per tire sold in the state to support the program to clean up stockpiles, better enforce scrap tire disposal and cut down on illegal dumps, and create recycling opportunities for the scrap tires. ADEM, on behalf of the Scrap Tire Commission, has removed millions of scrap tires from more than 50 sites throughout the state.
Conservation Alabama Policy Director Jeff Martin is a member of the Scrap Tire Commission.
(from Conservation Alabama)
Incentives for alternative fuel vehicles on the table
Energy legislation had the most activity last week and will be prominent again this week in the legislature.
Companion bills introduced by Rep. Greg Wren, R-Montgomery and Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster to provide incentives for the purchase of vehicles or the installation of refueling equipment for vehicles that are powered by compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, or electricity. The bill also promotes biodiesel and ethanol production in the state. While it is late in the session for newly introduced bills to get much traction, the Senate version of this bill will be in committee on Wednesday. (read the full article on Conservation Alabama's blog.)
Join the Georgia Sierra Club on a trip to Yosemite
Sammy Padgett, a trip leader with the Georgia Sierra Club Chapter sent this announcement to Alabama recently: "We have a trip to Yosemite over the July 4th holiday. For a week long backpacking trip. We have all the permits needed for 10 people. So far we have 5 people signed-up. Im reaching out to local Chapers to try and fill remaining spots. Here is the link to our outings page with all the info.
North Alabama Celebrates Earth Day
The Earth Day Celebration at Hayes Nature Preserve was a huge success. The SC booth was popular and soon surrounded by a sea of green SC bags as we promoted our BYOB campaign. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness of our Group, its goals, and activities. A special thanks to Charlotte, who set up the booth and did educational outreach, and to all the members who stopped by. (from the North Alabama Sierra Club)
Protect Forever Wild
On November 6, 2012, a major election will take place in Alabama. Of course there is the all-important presidential election, but Alabama voters will also be voting on the 20-year extension for the Forever Wild program. The Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club is gearing up to help make sure this passes. Alabama Needs Forever Wild and the Sierra Club's members NEED to head to the polls and vote!
Since Forever Wild was first approved 20 years ago (by an overwhelming 83 percent of voters), Forever Wild has protected thousands of acres for the benefit of Alabamians. Some of the state's most visited natural areas, such as the Walls of Jericho in north Alabama and the Mobile Tensaw Delta in south Alabama, are open to the public because of Forever Wild. Many Sierra Club outings involve hikes or other activities on Forever Wild lands.
The Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club is a member of the Protect Forever Wild Coalition, dedicated to the protection and reauthorization of Forever Wild funding. This coalition of conservation, environmental, hunting and angling, outdoor recreation, and business entities recognizes Forever Wild’s success in securing public lands for outdoor recreation for our citizens and protecting the ecological integrity of Alabama’s landscape. We are working to insure that Forever Wild is reauthorized for another 20 years.
You can help by publicizing the benefits of Forever Wild, and by voting in favor of Forever Wild reauthorization in the 2012 election.
Additional information is available at http://www.protectforeverwild.org/
What Your Sierra Club Outdoor Leader Would Like You to Know
Guidelines for enjoyable Sierra Club outings:
- Arrive a few minutes early at the designated meeting place so we can leave on time.
- If we're going to travel, arrive with a full and not empty gas tank.
- Consider ride-sharing. It's not only cheaper but lessens our carbon footprint.
- In order to participate on our outing, you will need to sign a Liability Waiver.
- When you sign-in, under emergency number, please write in the name and phone of the person you want contacted by emergency responders or a hospital, not 911
- The Outdoor Leader is in charge of the outing and is the decision maker when it comes to proceeding, changing or turning back due to trail/river conditions, weather or other circumstances. He/she wants you back safely.
- We go out and stay together as a group. There is an early sign-out in the unusual circumstance that you don't want to stay with our group.
- We are concerned for your health and safety, and those of the group. Know your capabilities so you can have a pleasurable outing. We write our description and rate the difficulty of the outing, but contact the Outings Leader for more information to help you decide if you should participate.
- Bring enough water/food for the outing, dress appropriately for the type of activity/weather, and bring the right shoes/boots and required gear. Again, contact us if you need more information.
- Keep your dog on a short leash. Not all hikers or wildlife are dog lovers.
- And at the end of the outing, thank the leader who has just volunteered his or her entire day (or evening).
- Sandy Kiplinger
National Bike Month and Bike to Work Day
May is National Bike Month and the 9th Annual Bike to Work Day will have a new spin this year! Bike from Work will be held in the evening of Thursday, May 10 and include an organized bike ride to promote using alternative transportation for commuting to and from work. Hosted by CommuteSmart, an initiative of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, participants will begin and end their ride at Avondale Brewery. The evening will also include a family-friendly celebration after the ride that will promote safe cycling in Birmingham.
It's the pipeline that just won't die. TransCanada is now floating a new route for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Here's National Sierra Club's take on that plan.
DEEPWATER, DEEP MEMORIES
Sierra Club members and organizers joined a rally in Biloxi, Mississippi, Friday to mark the two year anniversary of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Sierra Club Mississippi's Louie Miller spoke at the rally and landed this great media hit.
What Should the Sierra Club Do on the Natural Gas Issue?
We're looking for your best ideas on what the Club could do on the Natural Gas issue. To this end, we've launched a Web site for submitting these ideas.
It's quite simple to use:
1. Go to http://sierraclub1.uservoice.com/forums/150010-what-should-the-club-do-on-natural-gas-
2. Enter your idea, or have a look around at existing ideas.
3. Once you enter an idea, you'll be asked to sign in - you can do this with either an email address or using your Facebook or Google (Sierra Club addresses work) credentials as a single-sign-on solution. Your ideas won't appear on these social networks - the buttons are only there to make login easier.
4. As a signed-in user, you can comment on existing ideas, or vote on them if you agree. This gives everyone a better idea of what the community feels is important.
5. You can have 10 votes or comments per month. This restriction will hopefully constrain ideas so that the best are elicited.
6. Note: This forum is 'open'. This is the only way we can accommodate the entire community.